At a point of time when Manchester Airport has announced that passenger numbers are surpassing pre-pandemic levels, flights to Beijing are to increase next summer.
The direct service Hainan Airlines linking Manchester and China’s capital currently runs four times weekly, but will increase to daily from June to September 2024. They are operated by two-class Airbus A330 aircraft.
The airline’s partnership with Loganair also means that passengers can book tickets from Aberdeen, Inverness, the Isle of Man and Newquay to Beijing with an airside transfer at Manchester.
Manchester became the first UK hub outside of London to gain a direct flight to mainland China when Hainan Airlines launched its service to Beijing in 2016. The route was suspended during the pandemic but relaunched in August 2022.
A report issued in 2018 showed that flights had almost doubled the amount of money spent in the North by Chinese tourists and had also increased the number of Chinese students at the region’s universities by around 9% – more than double the national average.
Chris Woodrofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, commented: “Hainan Airlines’ decision to operate a daily Beijing flight from Manchester is testament to the success of the current service. More than 350,000 passengers have used it since it was first launched seven years ago.
“We know the route is also extremely popular with Chinese visitors. We are a gateway to some of the most vibrant cities and beautiful countryside the UK has to offer, and the daily service is fantastic news for tourism, businesses, and universities across our region – as well as for Manchester’s Chinese community”.
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